APAPA TRAFFIC: Oil Tanker Drivers Not Cause Of NPA E-Call Up Failure– NUPENG Chairman

·Tankers Need To Be Regulated By NPA E-call Up System –LCCI

Tokunbo Korodo

The South West Chairman of the Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) Alhaji, Tokunbo Korodo, has denied the allegations that oil tanker drivers are the major cause of the Nigerian Port Authority (NPA) electronic call up system failure.

Korodo in an exclusive chat with our correspondent over the weekend, stated that contrary to beliefs that oil tankers who ply the Apapa and Tin Can Port areas are the cause of the traffic situation, said oil tanker drivers are one of the most disciplined group of transporters in the country,

The NUPENG chairman blamed container-laden trucks drivers for the lingering traffic situation in Apapa despite having the electronic call up in place.

Korodo noted that even before the advent of the NPA electronic call-up system, the union already had its own call-up system in place for oil tankers going to the port, stressing that the oil tankers drivers only come to Apapa when they have products to load.

He said: “When we talk of oil tankers, we are one of the most disciplined organization, you can never see us parking indiscriminately, we have been facing this problem with containerized trucks, they are the one impending the free flow of traffic in Apapa, it has never been the tankers, and if they say they don’t want tankers in Lagos, fine. It is where there is products that is where you see petroleum tanker drivers, tankers drivers don’t just move anyhow, we don’t have diesel to waste if there is no products in Apapa, you will never see tankers clustering around Apapa there, unlike the container trucks.

“If you get to Ogere you will see the concentration of tankers awaiting the call up system, built by us, so they only move when they have products to pick, so its unfounded allegations for anybody to alleged that tankers are the ones causing obstruction in Apapa”.

When our correspondent questioned why there is high concentration of oil tankers drivers around the Mile 2 Tin Can area, he informed that due to the high concentration of tank farms in the area it is expected that there will be high concentration of oil tankers along the corridors.

He also blamed the construction of the Tin Can access roads for the gridlock being experienced in the area.

“Yes of course, we will continue to have them (tankers) there, because if you look at where they are heading to, it is towards a loading depot; in particular, some are going towards Abule Addo side, some are going to Tin Can, some are going towards Marine beach. So it is because we have high concentration of tankers at that area that’s why you see these tankers there, most of these tankers are not Lagos- based; they come from East and North, if there are products where they are coming from, they will not need come to Lagos also don’t forget that construction of the road is going”.

Meanwhile, the Director General of Lagos Chambers of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), Dr. Muda Yusuf, has called for the regulation of oil tankers in line with the NPA electronic call up system, while also stating that there is need for tank farms owners to provide holding bays for the tankers coming to the facilities.

“We need to bring the tankers into the equation on the e-call up, so they also have to be called-up and also the need for tank farm owners to provide holding bay for the tankers. The e-call up platform itself must be a platform that inspires confidence, it must be credible so that we won’t have a situation whereby someone who come after a particular person, will be giving call -up over the person who came earlier

“Once people begin to see that the level of trust is down, once trust breaks down, credibility collapses, the credibility of the platform is key, the capacity of those managing the platform is also very important because the issue is technical in nature.

“The NPA needs to enforce its capacity to manage the platform, you know we had something similar when the Customs said we can manage the scanners, they handed over the scanners to them and within a year the whole thing packed up, so we need those with the capacity to handle it handle it”.